My tmobile free hotspot/tethering experience
I am able to tether. Here is my experience and I also need help figuring things out:
I am on 30 dollar unlimited plan (aka walmart plan) using old sgh t679 rooted running stock 2.3.5 android.
I can tether using Open Garden (root required) and Foxfi no root (I use Open garden since it is free and no limit use unlike foxfi free version).
Note: I have only tethered to my Nexus 7 tablet and I did get the upsell page after 2 nights use (I tether while in bed browsing). But it's still tricky because:
From what I gather is this:
1) If you have older android version like 2.3. (like me) you can tether using root or even no root app like Foxfi because the APN used to tether is the default APN, I think I read on here that newer tmobile androids (only tmobile or all phones??) use different APN to initiate a tether so you need to either have root and custom rom or pay the fee
2) Assuming you can figure out a way to tether either with root and app or just app and some other configuration like using VPN and such for another android version, it still seems you get the upsell page after some use (after free allotted if applicable on your plan) because of the browser user agent or because of the " ttl on the data packet, regardless of the data in it. Windows default is 128, Unix & Android is 64.." that's what I gather by doing some internets search.
In my case since I am using android tablet, it seems to be a matter of user agent
3) Funny thing: After I got the upsell page (mind you only using tablet) my internet connection is still up , meaning I can still download apps from play store and such. The only thing that is blocked was my Firefox browser NOT chrome or even some other browser.
SO this leads me to conclude that tmobile in my case sniffed the user agent of the firefox browser (android version using tablet remember) and for some reason denied it and flagged it after about ~200mb of use but NOT the chrome browser or even regular data connection (like i said I was able to download apps from play store)
I am not sure if other browser is not affected because the user agent is not flagged by tmobile or simply because I was not using it when tmobile finally stepped in
And even more strange: If i checked the "request desktop version" on firefox, everything was good again and I could browse (like i said, the internet data connection was never shut, just the browser redirected to the hotspot upsell page),
which leads me to think that tmobile in my case was only sniffing user agent and flagged specific user agent to block browsing...